Students, who are planning to attend a college/university or a career school should be aware that it is now time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be completed to determine eligibility for the Pell Grant, Federal Grants, Federal Work-Study, Federal Student Loans, and state financial aid programs. Federal student aid can be used to cover tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation expenses.
It is important the FAFSA be completed as soon as possible after October 1st. College and universities often use the FAFSA information to award institutional scholarships and grants. With varying deadlines students should check with their colleges of interest to confirm these dates. The state deadlines are listed on the fafsa.gov website.
Students may submit the 2018-19 FAFSA beginning Oct. 1, 2017. On the 2018-19 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2016 income information. In order to submit the FAFSA online, students and parents are required to use a FSA ID which consists of a username and password. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and to electronically sign your federal student aid documents such as FAFSA, Master Promissory Note, and Entrance Counseling.
The FAFSA will request information about the student; such as name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and financial information. The form also includes a series of questions that determine if the student is a dependent. The dependent status requires the providing of parent information. An independent status will only require the student to provide information. The FAFSA has built in skip logic that may allow you to skip questions based on responses to previous questions.
Providing financial information (2016 federal tax data) is a quick and easy process when students and parents use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). The FAFSA process will direct students and parents to the IRS website to have the data transfer to the FAFSA.
Once the FAFSA form is submitted the IRS will provide tax information to the schools that you have selected on your FAFSA, as well as the state agency.
Your tax information will not be visible to you because of added security and privacy protections. Not displaying your information prevents potential identity thieves from accessing this information. Once submitted the student should expect to receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in approximately 3 days after completing their FAFSA. It is suggested to review the results to confirm that the information is correct. The Financial Aid Office at the colleges/universities listed on your FAFSA will use the information provided to determine eligibility for federal student aid and calculate a financial aid award. Students have the option to accept or decline aid included in their financial aid award letter.
Students and parents needing assistance while completing the FAFSA have multiple options available: utilize the ‘Help’ icon on each page, live help via a secure online chat session or call 1-800-433-3243. In addition, there are numerous resources found on the Federal Student Aid Website.
Another resource available to you is the Official Blog of the U.S. Department of education, https://blog.ed.gov/2017/09/8-steps-to-filling-out-the-fafsa-form/, this will break down the FAFSA in an easy 8 step layout. The YouTube channel, YouTube.com/ FederalStudentAid, provides playlists of short videos on financial aid topics, including the FAFSA.
The Financial Aid Office at your college, university and career school is also an excellent source to answer questions. They will be able to discuss unique circumstances that may occur when completing your FAFSA – do not hesitate to contact them. Find out more about Morrison Tech’s Financial Aid at https://www.morrisontech.edu/studentfinancialservices/
Finally, it is important to remember that a new FAFSA needs to be completed each year.